October 4, 2018
The 2014 farm bill expired on Sunday, September 30. Although Conference leadership has expressed a desire to finalize the farm bill in October, in order to quickly approve a final agreement in November, without a final deadline there is little possibility of resolution by then.
The main issues remain centered around the commodity, conservation, and nutrition titles, with the nutrition title being the largest obstacle. Budgetary issues, such as spending offsets needed to provide funding to other areas, complicate all these areas. Consolidation of programs in the conservation title has encountered significant opposition and disagreements over work requirements in SNAP remains politically charged between Democrats and Republicans.
The expiration of the farm bill will have little impact on the operation of the commodity programs. There are other programs, lacking a funding baseline, that are affected. Conference leadership is discussing implementation of these “orphan” programs with USDA in the hopes of utilizing discretionary authority to minimize disruption.
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